600 YEARS; NOW THAT’S NOSTALGIA Xi reviews China’s biggest naval parade ‘in 600 years’ Chinese Navy assembles virtually all its modern warships and nuclear subs for a big show of force in the South China Sea -Asia Times

China’s internet censorship should be lifted for the sake of the economy and innovators -SCMP

ABE TO WASHINGTON Questions arise over Trump-Abe ties at critical juncture for Japanese prime minister Abe’s trip to the U.S. to meet Trump on Tuesday and Wednesday takes place at a time when the once lauded rapport between the leaders has increasingly come into question. -The Japan Times

Cabinet’s support numbers tumble to 37% -Kyodo

Japan's plunging population adds urgency to immigration talk Decline in total numbers slowed only by influx of foreign residents -Nikkei

INFORMATION FLOWS = CAPITAL FLOWS Asia’s Bastion of Free Speech? Move Aside, Hong Kong, It’s Taiwan Now. In recent years, however, as Beijing has tightened its grip on the former colony, Hong Kong has been increasingly supplanted by Taiwan, a self-governing island that has emerged as one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. Taiwan now draws the sorts of dissidents, rights groups and events that once naturally gravitated to Hong Kong.

Vietnam's Political Crackdown Jeopardizes Economic Progress The Communist Party’s disproportionately harsh tactics risk further undermining its domestic support, tied to steady economic growth that has resulted in improved living conditions over the past three decades. The crackdown on enemies of the state could also erode investor confidence and international support as Vietnam seeks to escape the middle-income trap and implement major political and economic reforms. -The News Lens


Trump says U.S. will only rejoin Pacific trade pact if terms are improved -Reuters



Facebook pages could open up into a deeper privacy scandal Concerns grow 'malicious actors' might have mined information on Facebook’s two billion users, including nearly 500 million in Asia-Pacific region -Asia Times

China’s Communists Rewrite the Rules for Foreign Businesses The party is strengthening its influence — often gaining direct decision-making power — over the international firms doing business in China. -NYT

JVs IN CHINA Joint ventures and technology transfer: New evidence from China China’s government mandates that foreign investors in certain industries form joint ventures with a domestic Chinese partner. The column uses a dataset accounting for all joint ventures in China from 1998 to 2007 to show that this policy is successful in its aim of encouraging technology transfer from foreign investors to domestic operations. -The Centre for Economic Policy Research

PARADISE IS THE FROG AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL 'Boiled frog syndrome': Germany's China problem -Reuters 

“Germany has put too many eggs into one basket, and that basket is China,” Bauer, a jovial 62-year-old with a thick Bavarian accent

China slows review of chip company mergers amid trade tensions: WSJ via Reuters

PODCAST OF THE WEEK Japan’s Secret Strategy for Global Drone Domination How Japan can overcome China’s lead in drones -Disrupting Japan

Competition watchdog issues interim measures to stop Grab, Uber merger The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has issued interim measures to stall Grab's takeover of Uber operations here. -The Straits Times

In a statement issued Friday (April 13), the CCCS said the measures will remain in place until it completes its investigation into ride-hailing group Grab's acquisition of its American rival's South-east Asian business.

Grab and Uber may have to revisit deal terms to avoid derailment, say experts -Tech-in-Asia

How BP got it right in Indonesia British energy giant launches US$8 billion Tangguh gas project expansion as other multinationals come under nationalistic, regulatory and even insurgent fire -Asia Times


Devaluation of yuan still a threat despite Xi’s promises Xi granted Trump's wish of an opened up economy, but an old demon – the competitive devaluation of the yuan – still hovers in the background -Asia Times

US spares China ‘manipulator’ label If the US is unhappy with the trade concessions offered by another country it can impose punitive tariffs, but that country is still able to appeal to the WTO -Taipei Times

Ignorance Is Bliss in Trump's China Trade Fight The radical agenda of his better-informed advisers is far more dangerous. -Bloomberg View

US-China clash threatens global trade recovery: WTO chief China overtook US to be top trading nation last year International trade has gotten a second wind, thanks to the vitality of Asian economies – Nikkei

BOJ set to forecast inflation of about 2 percent for fiscal 2020 as labor shortage continues -The Japan Times